Injured While Using a Ride Sharing Service like Uber or Lyft?
Together, Uber and Lyft offer a massive 75 million rides across the country every month. So, chances are that you may have already used these ride sharing apps or will use them at some time in the near future.
While they have undoubtedly made urban transport easier and faster, these apps also contribute about 2-3% to the total number of fatal auto crashes on American roads. Although that may not seem like a notable increase, it actually equates to a massive 1100 deaths nationwide each year.
Also, two reports from California state sources indicated that ride sharing services are responsible for more 1000 car crashes each month. Now, anybody who has had to deal with the aftermath of an auto crash, will tell you that car accident claims are no cake walk.
Unfortunately, things get even more complicated in case of an Uber/Lyft vehicle crash, whether you are the passenger, the other motorist or a pedestrian. So, continue reading to learn more about who pays for medicals costs if you are injured while using a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft.
What makes Uber and Lyft accident claims different from regular auto crash claims?
It is not the laws but the liability that make ride sharing accident claims different. When you are in an auto accident, depending on the extent of your injuries and the type of coverage you have, you will seek compensation from your own carrier or that of the insurer of the cab/other vehicle. But, in case of ride sharing apps, accidents are covered by two policies:
- The driver’s personal auto insurance which applies to off-duty vehicle use.
- Ride sharing company’s corporate coverage which applies when passengers are being ferried.
And this is where the confusion creeps in. Both insurers try to pass the buck, and expect the other to pay up. Also, there is the question of who is responsible for the compensation if the driver is on active duty but not actually carrying a passenger. For instance, when they are going from point A to point B to pick up a passenger or simply driving with the app on, waiting to be hailed.
To add to the problem, ride sharing companies don’t make thing any simpler by treating their drivers as independent contractors and not as employees. This makes it harder to hold them directly responsible for the damages. In fact, ride sharing companies are frequently pulled up for pushing the entire burden of compensation on their drivers.
Will you get compensation if you are a passenger injured in a Lyft/Uber accident in KY?
Regardless of the type of vehicle you are in (one that is owned by you or by someone else), if you are a passenger who sustained injuries in the crash, you will be covered by the no-fault insurance laws of the state.
- If you have auto insurance, you can seek PIP benefits from your own insurer even if you were a passenger in a Lyft/an Uber vehicle.
- If you don’t own auto insurance, you can claim compensation from the policy of the driver.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage can help you to recover $10,000 in medical bills, injury and treatment related out of pocket expenses and lost income. Even if the motorist has opted out of the mandatory PIP coverage of Kentucky, he/she would still have to hold guest PIP coverage.
Can you seek compensation from the ridesharing driver?
Once you run through the $10,000 offered by no-fault insurance in medical bills, you are entitled to receive additional compensation from the Uber/Lyft driver’s liability coverage. Even if the driver only has the minimum mandated commercial auto insurance, this would still equate to:
- $25,000 per person for injuries, up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage
- $10,000 PIP
Depending on how badly you were hurt, the liability coverage may not be adequate to cover the cost of treatment, future impact of the injuries, loss of earnings and your pain and suffering. This is when you hold the ridesharing company liable for your losses.
Shouldn’t Uber/Lyft be held responsible for the passenger’s injuries?
Both Uber and Lyft have sizeable insurance coverage but there are several limitations and conditions which apply to the $1 million protection.
If you are a passenger who was injured in one of their vehicles while using their service, and if your driver was at fault, you can claim compensation from Uber/Lyft as long as your medical costs exceed the compensation available through the liability coverage of the driver.
This begs the question, what happens if your driver was not at fault or had the smaller burden of fault? Yes, you could go after the at-fault motorist but you will find yourself drowning in a sea of medical bills if your injuries are serious and the at-fault driver only has the minimum required liability coverage.
Also, determining fault after an accident is no easy task. Moreover, ridesharing companies will pay millions more in insurance costs if their drivers have to admit their fault. So, they have ample reason to go out of their way to ensure that their drivers are allowed to go scot- free.
The question is, while the two motorists or even a responsible third party battle it out in court where does that leave you, the injured passenger?
You are certainly entitled to compensation!
There are no two ways about it. If you have been injured in an accident while using a ridesharing app, you can seek redress from one or the other insurance company. The compensation can cover:
- The actual cost of medical treatment, including hospital stay and doctors’ fees.
- Ancillary treatment costs, including ambulance transfer, medication, etc.
- In home care and rehabilitative treatment.
- Earnings lost immediately following the accident and as you recover.
- Future loss of income due to the impact of the injury.
- Emotional and mental impact of the injury.
The dollar value of the compensation that you can receive will depend on a variety of factors such as:
- Possible complete or partial disability.
- Impact of injuries on quality of life.
- Ability to go back to your professional and personal life as they were before the accident.
- Immediate and long-term medical care needed.
Although there is no rule which requires you to enlist the help of a ridesharing accident attorney, the fact is that the landscape of personal injury lawsuits can be confusing. That is where an experienced attorney can come to your aid.
At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers our attorneys have significant experience in handling injury accidents. We know what it takes to send a clear message to insurers that you mean business and your rights will not be trampled on.
Call us today in Louisville, KY at 502-400-6969 or in Lexington, KY at 859-888-8000, so that you are not left grappling with a mountain of bills that will devastate your personal and professional life. You should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. Get in touch right away and we will make sure you get the compensation that is rightfully yours!